Being a product designer is an exciting field that can provide a lot of rewards, whether they’re creative, scientific, or financial. But it’s also a field that can be difficult to be successful in.
Perhaps part of the reason for that difficulty is the unpredictability of the process. How can a designer really know if the product they’re working on is a viable one, or has the potential for success in the marketplace?
If you’ve gotten to the design stage, then there are probably investors involved, so at the very least, they are excited about the product. But beyond that, what can a designer look for in terms of guidance while they’re going through the design process? Here are a few pro tips that might help a young or inexperienced designer get good results.
Balance collaboration and independence
There might be some areas of conflict between your work as a designer and what the engineers responsible for bringing your vision to life have in mind.
As much as you might think that the two departments are separate, it’s important to make sure that the design team and the engineers are on the same page. Working with another team might you’re your design in a way you never conceived, and your design suggestions could give the engineers ideas for solutions to different design issues.
Keep your product as simple as possible
With all of the technology and options available to a designer, it might be tempting to make complex changes or tweaks to your product, but remember that one of the most important aspects a designer has to consider is functionality.
Ideally, you’re trying to create a product that’s easy to use and understand, and succumbing to the urge to make it more complex than it needs to be might be harmful to product’s success. Remember, this is going to be a new item on the market, and consumers need to be able to understand it easily in order want to buy it.
Know your product’s competition
Imitation, they say, is the sincerest form of flattery, and it might benefit a designer to take a look at similar products in the marketplace. The urge might be to try to be as original as possible, but keep in mind that these products are still on the market for a reason. Something about them has connected with customers, so why not try to figure out what you can do with your product to achieve the same connection?
As you work your way through your design, it’s important to look at what came before and learn how to incorporate that into what you’re creating.
Test your prototype thoroughly
It can be tempting to rely on early results of your prototype testing, simply out of excitement or impatience. The desire to move forward can be a strong one, and there’s certainly pressure involved when a company has a launch date in mind.
But remember that the design process takes patience, and it’s vital to the success of what you’ve created to make sure you’ve added all the innovations you can to your prototype, and that you’ve gotten in-depth results from your testing.
There are always new features that can be just around the corner, so keep plugging away on that prototype.
Trust your simulations
It’s also important to remember that a simulation run on your product by your engineers is just as important as testing the physical prototype.
The more analysis than can be applied to your product before it’s launched into the marketplace, the better, and creating a rigorous simulation process is the closest you’ll probably get to real-world results before the product is out in the world.
Want to learn more about the product design industry? Read our post “The Most Influential Product Design Trends on the Horizon.”